The BBC has decided to remove some of its content featuring Russell Brand from its streaming service iPlayer and radio platform Sounds. A BBC spokesperson explained that they do not typically remove content unless it is warranted. In this case, they assessed the content and found that it no longer met public expectations, leading to its removal. The removed content includes an episode of “QI” and a Joe Wicks podcast featuring Brand.
This comes in the wake of Google-owned YouTube suspending advertisements on Russell Brand’s videos following allegations of rape and sexual assault. YouTube cited a violation of its Creator Responsibility policy and took this action to protect its users. While YouTube has suspended monetization on Brand’s channel, his channels remain on the platform, with subscriber counts ranging from 20,000 to 6.6 million.
These allegations against Russell Brand were first reported in a joint investigation by The Times of London, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4 documentary “Dispatches,” in which four women accused him of sexual assault, including one case of rape.
The BBC and Banijay, who had employed Russell Brand at the time of the alleged incidents, have initiated an investigation into the accusations against the comedian.
Russell Brand has vehemently denied these allegations, addressing them preemptively in a YouTube video titled “So, This Is Happening,” where he expressed that he “absolutely refutes” the “litany of astonishing, rather baroque, attacks.”
Simultaneously, the London Metropolitan Police has received a report concerning an alleged assault dating back to 2003. A police spokesperson stated that they are in contact with the woman making the report and will be providing her with support.
The suspension of monetization on YouTube is the latest in a series of setbacks for Russell Brand. His live tour, “Bipolarisation,” has been postponed, affecting the first show at the Theatre Royal Windsor. Additionally, his publishing deal with Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird was suspended on Monday.